Tony O'Kane | Dec 15, 2008

Ford Australia has announced that the sharp n' funky 2009 Fiesta will be on sale Down Under from next January, with prices ranging from $15,750 AUD to $20,990.

The base model CL fleshes out the bottom of the Fiesta range, and is available in either three or five door flavours. The economy-pack member of the bunch, the CL gets 15-inch steel wheels, a CD player with MP3 player input, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and air conditioning. Not over-burdened with kit, but it should make the morning commute more than pleasant enough.


Fork out a little more coin for the Fiesta LX, however, and the spec level improves markedly. For $18,490 you get five-door practicality, 15-inch alloys, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and voice-controllable Bluetooth connectivity - as well as the same steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and air conditioning of the CL.

At the top of the range sits the Fiesta Zetec, which gets all the goodies from the CL and LX and throws in 16-inch alloys, a unique bodykit, chrome trim around the side glass, a larger rear spoiler and a USB input for the stereo system. A comprehensive safety suite is also standard fare on the Zetec, which comprises front head and thorax airbags, a driver's knee airbag, dynamic stability control, traction control and emergency brake assist. At just $20,250 for the (manual only) three-door, the Zetec looks like good buying.


Curiously, choice of engine is dictated by what transmission is selected. An 88kW 1.6 litre inline-four with 152Nm of torque and a five-speed manual is standard across the Fiesta range, but tick the box for the optional four-speed auto and engine capacity drops to 1.4 litres, while output takes a dive to 71kW and 128Nm. The bigger-capacity cars also win in the thriftiness stakes - fuel economy is 6.1 l/100km for manual equipped Fiestas and 6.9 l/100km for the auto, so the smart money would be on the good ol' fashioned stick shift.


ABS with EBD is standard on all Fiesta models, as are driver and passenger airbags. The higher protection offered by the Zetec's extra 'bags and electronic aids is also available on the other models as part of an optional Safety Pack, which costs $1000. Cross-drilled alloy pedals, an illuminated gear lever and alloy scuff plates are also optional extras across the range, as is a towing kit.

The 2009 Ford Fiesta goes on sale across the country from January 2009, with sales of automatic-equipped Fiestas beginning the following month.


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